The Paintless Dent Repair Process

The paintless dent repair (PDR) process is a fascinating one. Many of our clients wonder how this process works and in what instances PDR is the best option. Since PDR can remove 80-90% of all dents, it is good to utilize its benefits for flawless vehicle restoration.

What is paintless dent repair?

To describe PDR, let’s look at its opposite – conventional dent repair. Conventional dent repair is quite invasive to the vehicle. Body panels are sanded down, body filler is added, the entire panel is repainted, then cured. The process is labour and time intensive, therefore expensive. 

With PDR there is no need to add body filler, no need to repaint or disturb factory paint. PDR is the process of carefully manipulating precise locations of metal back to the correct height, massaging dents out of a panel using skilled training and specialized tools. PDR is commonly used across the automotive industry, approved by leading car manufacturers as an established repair technique.

When can PDR be performed?

PDR works when the dent isn’t too complex. A complex dent is deep, which means the metal has probably been stretched. Complex dents have wrinkles, ridges or creases, often breaking the surface of the paint. Remarkably, this does not describe most dents. 

Most dents are shallow and rounded, with paint left intact. Deeper dents can also be remedied with PDR, requiring multiple stages. In all PDR cases, the metal has a memory of its original molded shape, and, with skill, can be returned to that state. 

Who is the best person to go to for paintless dent removal?

The PDR experts at SmartProgram are highly trained in this specialized process. They begin with an assessment of the vehicle. They know dents, and, more than that, they know vehicles. For example, different car manufacturers use different paints, each with a different elastic limit; the paint can only flex so much before it begins to crack. 

Our experts assess the paint’s flexibility before attempting PDR ensuring the paint has resiliency and is not too brittle to tolerate the repair. Our specialists also know their materials, assessing what fibre the dent has been sunk into – is it metal that can be massaged back into shape, or is it fibreglass that cannot be? 

Where on my vehicle can PDR be used?

The flat, horizontal surfaces of a car, like the roof and hood, are good candidates for PDR, as are most vertical surfaces like doors, front fenders, and quarter panels. The autobody areas that are not suitable for PDR are the areas made from inappropriate materials, such as plastic or fibreglass fenders and bumpers, carbon fibre hoods, as well as areas with trim. 

Why/How do these dents happen?

Vehicle impacts, when two vehicles collide with speed, create the most complex dents. Thankfully, most dents do not fall into this category. Most dents happen when one vehicle is parked, impacted by another vehicle maneuvering into or out of a nearby spot, or even by a shopping cart rolling into a fender. 

Door dings are a common cause of dents. Even if you’ve been working on your vertical limbo skills issues will arise when you squeeze and scrape yourself through a narrow opening in a car door or parking spot. 

Sports can cause dents too. Think of cyclists and blows from baseballs. 

Hail is a major dent creator, often hammering hundreds of dents in one weather event. All of these common scars are best solved with PDR. 

Minor body damage can affect a car’s resale value as well as the owners’ enjoyment of the vehicle. PDR is a great way to fix the damage and maintain the value of your customer’s car. At SmartProgram we love pulling out the dents and we do our work at the customer’s convenience. Dents are massaged out quickly, preserving the original paint, keeping car owners proud of their vehicle. 

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